Texas Liberal

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Houston/Galveston County Notes

 

Here are some Houston and Galveston County notes.

Above is the pink dolphin spotted in Galveston Bay last year.

Skelly On The Move

Texas political blog Capitol Annex posts that Democratic Texas U.S. House District 7 candidate Michael Skelly is on the radar of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Mr. Skelly is going to defeat incumbent John Culberson in this Houston-area district. Watch for this race to get more attention as Election Day nears.

Please here click for my post on why you should volunteer for Mr. Skelly. I say in the post that the Skelly race is an uphill race. I’m glad to say I will be adjusting my thinking on that matter.   

TexBlog Pac To Hold Houston Fundraiser

TexBlog pac will be holding a fundraiser in Houston on June 26.

The goal is to raise money to help elect a Democratic majority in the Texas House.

The event will be at the Rice Lofts located at 909 Texas Avenue in Downtown Houston.

It starts at 6:30 PM.

Houston blogger Charles Kuffner has more details

State Representative Garnet Coleman will be there as will a number of other local office holders and candidates.

Vo Fixes Apartments

Democratic State Representative Hubert Vo has brought apartments he owns up to building codes.

Well….That’s good. But why does a urban Democratic officeholder run a slum operation to start? People deserve forgiveness. I make mistakes all the time. Still, I find this frustrating on many levels. 

Voters in Mr. Vo’s district can decide this November how they feel about the issue.   

Galveston County Reconstruction-Era Black Settlement Marked

The black run town of Our Settlement, the only all black town in Galveston County in the years right after the Civil War, now has a Texas historical marker.  

First Woman Elected In Galveston Dies

From the Galveston County Daily News ( Here is the full obit)—

Ruth Levy Kempner, the trailblazing, outspoken lover of Galveston politics who was the city’s first female elected official, died Monday in her home at the age of 90. A self-described “civic busybody,” Kempner influenced Galveston politics for decades and kept up with city council antics until her death.              

Kempner and her best friend of 80 years, Frances Kay Harris, lobbied for a change in the form of city government to “anyone who would listen” in the late 1950s, Harris said.

When the city adopted the council-manager form of government, Kempner ran for council and became the first woman elected to city office. As a councilwoman, she was a sharp-witted, well-spoken fighter for her cause, said Bob Albright, who served on the council with Kempner from 1961 to 1963.

June 19, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Galveston, Houston, Politics, Texas, Texas Political History | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

In Praise Of Gene Kelly & Outlaw Josey Wales

Two perennial candidates for office in Texas are Gene Kelly and Outlaw Josey Wales.

Mr. Kelly runs statewide and Mr. Wales runs for Mayor of Houston.

In the recently contested Texas primary, Mr. Kelly won 27% in the Democratic U.S. Senate primary against Rick Noriega. Mr. Noriega won the primary and avoided a runoff with 51% of the vote. 

Here is some information about Mr. Kelly from today’s Houston Chronicle.

Kelly is a reclusive retired military judge and lawyer from Universal City, a San Antonio suburb. He traditionally does little more than pay his filing fee, but apparently he wins votes because he has the same name as the late movie star and dancer.

Since 1990, Kelly has run for the Texas Supreme Court, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, attorney general and U.S. Senate.

In 2006, he forced Barbara Ann Radnofsky into a runoff in the Democratic U.S. Senate race. She overcame with “the dancer is dead” campaign, but the fact that she was in a runoff is believed to have cost her financial support from national Democratic donors.

Many candidates have an aspect of personal identity that wins them votes.

Did Mr. Noriega win votes because he is Hispanic? ( This no doubt cost him some votes as well.)

Some people voted for Barack Obama because he is black. Hillary Clinton gets some votes for being a woman and she has a famous last name. 

So what? That’s democracy for you. It’s a big spin of the wheel.  

It’s not Gene Kelly’s fault that by simply putting his name on the ballot he wins a quarter of the vote. I say more power to Mr. Kelly.  

If the party that likes to think of itself as the more “enlightened” party has to convince people that the actual “Singing in the Rain” Gene Kelly is not on the ballot–Well, then we have bigger problems than Mr. Kelly’s presence on the ballot. 

Here in Houston, I am a big fan of Outlaw Josey Wales.   

That’s his legal name.

Mr. Wales ran for Mayor of Houston last year. 

In 1999, I voted for Mr. Wales against incumbent Houston Mayor Lee Brown.

Mr. Brown was certain to win the election. I did not think so much of Mr. Brown. 

Once I convinced myself that Mr. Wales was not a right-wing kook, I figured what the hell? 

Two years later when Mr. Brown had a serious Republican challenger, I voted for Mr. Brown.

Here is what I said about Mr. Wales last October

As for Mr. Wales, self-creation and starting fresh are acts fully consistent with Houston and with politics.

He changed his name because he wanted to make some money. Good for him. I hope he made some money. If I thought I could make a lot of money by changing my name to Wyatt Earp, I would likely do so..   

Mr. Wales has had fewer names than former Texas Comptroller and candidate for Governor One Tough Grandma Carole Keeton Rylander Strayhorn…. 

Bloggers give themselves new names and made-up names all the time…

I don’t care what people choose to call themselves.    

Is Mr. Wales anymore or less stable than our civic Founding Father Sam Houston? Mr. Houston used to walk around Houston dressed as a cross between a frontiersman and an Indian. Sam Houston was, in his way, a serious and talented man.

Is Mr. Wales any more or less serious than the process of how we elect our city officials in Houston with silly six year term limits and terrible turnout? I think Mr. Wales might in fact be somewhat dignified for such a screwed-up process.  

Absurdity is a refuge from the day-to-day pain of life. As long as absurdity does not become detachment, what harm does it do?   

I look forward to seeing Mr. Kelly and Mr. Wales on the ballot many more times.    

March 6, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Houston, Houston Council Election '07, Politics, Texas, Texas Political History, Texas Primary '08 | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments